A Story of Impact from GongaBear

Hey Pals & Friends. GongaBear here! If I haven't met you yet, I'm really looking forward to meeting you soon. This season, I've had the opportunity to attend my very first Fall Outing at Camp Kanata and I've had a blast! I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about a moment from earlier this season that I feel truly demonstrates the impact of the Y Guides program:

Last Saturday night, Dancing Penguin and I led the World-Famous "Points Game" for our third-year overnighters. The game includes all kinds of fun challenges for both dad and child. One of the challenges provides an opportunity for the kids to take the stage and demonstrate their best "30-second talents."

You'd be amazed at the variety of talent that made its way up to the stage. In one moment, a boy got up there and burped the ABCs. The audience was mesmerized and burst into applause as soon as he reached "Z." In the next moment, a girl sang a beautiful rendition of "Hallelujah" that would've made even Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey proud (she knew the song because of "Shrek")! As the crowd hummed along when she reached the chorus, I reflected upon this magic moment that I will not soon forget. 

Pals and Friends, this is the impact of Y Guides. This program (with help from places like Camp Kanata) provides safe spaces where kids feel confident and can discover the talents that will help them become the very best versions of themselves.

As we were reminded last Saturday night, people can be talented in very different ways, but it's important that everybody feels comfortable being their truest selves. These two talented individuals were able to stand up on stage because they knew that - no matter what - their tribemates and their dads (their Y Guides families) were going to love them and be proud of them. That's how this program helps kids grow the confidence they need to use their talents in whichever arena they decide.

Spotted Turtle, Swift Arrow, Dancing Penguin and I have all made our pledges to the YMCA's "We Build People" Annual Campaign because we know the role the Y plays in creating moments like the one I described above. We need places like the Y. Your donations to the Annual Campaign makes it possible for YMCA programming to reach as many people as possible. Will you and your tribe help us strengthen the foundations of our community? 100% of your tribe's pledge will be invested back into the lives of people who need the Y. 

As a reminder, you can follow this three-step process: 1) Decide how much your tribe wants to pledge, 2) Make your tribe pledge online or at Fall Outing and 3) Earn your Annual Campaign patches. 

Thanks and see y'all soon!

Max Gongaware